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The "How" Of Enjoying The Process

Black_Dragon43

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As my business has grown (I'm in the service industry, more specifically in marketing) I've been enjoying the process less and less. There are certain aspects of the process actually that I love, but I hate doing the actual work. What I mean is this:

I love getting clients, negotiating, getting them to sign on the dotted line and doing the sales aspect of the business. I love seeing the money come in. I love setting out the big picture and creating plans. And I'm doing very well too - it's got to the point where I'm making as much as the CEO of a large corporation here (Eastern Europe) would make. Not fastlane yet, but definitely extremely well.

But I HATE actually doing the required work after closing the deal. I hate implementing plans for clients, thinking through the details, setting up ad campaigns, writing copy, etc. Some months I can make up to $10,000. At minimum, I will make $3,000 in a bad month (which is 3-4x the average wage here, a top lawyer working for someone else would get paid this amount here). I love the money, and I love when I get paid. I really do feel like money is a way to keep score for me. It's just that as of late I feel that I cannot move forward and actually grow beyond this point. I keep procrastinating, putting work off, not having the same focus I used to have. I don't feel excited about the actual process of doing the work. It takes me 5 hours to do the work I used to do in 1 hour before - simply because I can't stay focused anymore.

Unlike before, I can afford to waste time now because the services I offer are of higher value, and I have many established clients. So I can spend time watching something on YouTube, reading a novel, etc. But more than anything, I find that I am restless - I cannot pick one activity and stick to it. I cannot read a novel - the moment I do, I start wondering if this is the best time investment. Then I start working again on a project - then I wonder again if there was something else I could do with my time to be further ahead with my business.

I feel in many ways that I am greedy, and I lack focus now.

So my question is am I right? Is not enjoying the process holding me back? And if so, what can I do to motivate myself? Do you have any books about enjoying the process that you could recommend that would be of help? Thanks!
 

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RazorCut

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I don't think your problem will be fixed by trying to learn to enjoy the process. I think your time would be better spent doing what you enjoy, and are good at (bringing in the clients) and then delegating the rest to others.

Whether those others are sub contractors or people you employ directly will depend on you but it seems the next logical step in the process of growing a business. And although there will be some bumps along the way building the business up to multiple employees might very well light your fire again.
 

lejus

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I was thinking exactly what Razor said. Basically is it possible to get an employee for $500-1000 a month and give him all the tasks you don't enjoy? I grew up in Central Europe and I remember labor there was dead cheap, Costs of taxes, insurance, and bureaucracy were horrible, but companies with multiple employees done very well usually because they paid them little for a lot of hard work. Which is exactly the opposite of Western Europe, where taxes and insurance costs are tiny but you pay your employees a lot, so if you are past initial level there you are already good, while here I found it easy to pass initial level while outsourcing work is hard and expensive.

If it is you give up 10-30% of profit yes but, you can focus that wasted time on more sales and more what you enjoy, as well as trying new things and maybe move profit much higher than this 10-30% and on top of that have the healthier better mindset?

Maybe part-time employee student etc for 1-2 days a week to see can you train someone and place systems to do that? I know that employee I have works only 2-3 days a week but it was a lifesaver it allowed me to do so much more work on my business instead of working in my business that I am actually surprised.

Another thing is: Do you meditate? Looks like your focus is off and there is a lot of judgment over your focus and work not being there. Meditation can help with both focus and negative feelings, and a number of other things. I always recommend Sam Harris m he is a neuroscientist and he is not religious which means he only provides techniques that will actually benefit your brain check his article here:
How to Meditate | Sam Harris
Or if you don't want to read what meditation can do for you and how it affects your brain you can jump straight into practice and see for yourself.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzMhLmErz5Q

Start with 2-10 min in the morning and see does your day go better, is it more flow, are you more focused, do you judge yourself less? If yes keep increasing time and see does it help more, if it doesn't well maybe it is not for you, but until you give it 6-8 weeks try you can't really tell.
 

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I have struggled with this type of situation in the past as well. As already mentioned, meditation is a great long term option for gaining control of your thoughts. One session will not change your life, but building that habit will definitely make things easier.

I haven't gotten to the point where I can hire anyone to take over the parts of business that I don't like (still in startup mode), but that sounds like it may be a great option. Getting into a situation that causes you and your business to slow or struggle is not a good place to be. Customers will eventually notice the decline in your efforts, even if those efforts are in the background.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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It’s sounds like you’ve gotten comfortable. The joy is in the challenge, not the drudgery. Find bigger fish to hunt for OR start training other people to do what you do. You might be bored because you’re not helping/teaching/encouraging anyone else.
 

WinYourself

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Do more of this "I love getting clients, negotiating, getting them to sign on the dotted line and doing the sales aspect of the business. I love seeing the money come in."

Let somebody else do this "But I HATE actually doing the required work after closing the deal. I hate implementing plans for clients, thinking through the details, setting up ad campaigns, writing copy, etc."

If not possible, try transitioning into a product business or productized service.

There are few entrepreneurs who really enjoy running the service meat-grinder long time. For most it's more a cashflow play to pay bills and fund other ventures.

After the initial excitement service plays become more and more like a job. Just without the benefits of a job but with a whole lot of risk and uncertainty.
 

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I don't think your problem will be fixed by trying to learn to enjoy the process. I think your time would be better spent doing what you enjoy, and are good at (bringing in the clients) and then delegating the rest to others.

Whether those others are sub contractors or people you employ directly will depend on you but it seems the next logical step in the process of growing a business. And although there will be some bumps along the way building the business up to multiple employees might very well light your fire again.

This.

Will Durant - “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

You can admit your problem, which is great, most people can’t and will bottleneck themselves and not grow past it, hate every minute of it and ultimately give up.

You already know that doing it yourself qualifies it as a high paying job, not as a fastlane venture. The whole purpose of fastlane is to eventually stop doing what you don’t enjoy. Sounds like a great time to plan your next phase, one that will reignite you and turn your business into a more passive operating model.
 

Kid

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Maybe you became progress orient person.

That is,you look for new things to learn or master
and those that you already know bore you to death.
 

ProcessPro

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I agree with what the other posters.

Here are some other things to consider:

Perhaps you have too many distractions (YouTube etc)? I've realized, if I'm doing something mundane like washing dishes and my mind is far away (I could be on YouTube right now, or watching Big Bang Theory), I find the dish-washing even more unappealing that it usually is, because my mind is making comparisons between the unpleasantness of my current experience and what I could be doing. However, on the days I have my fiance password block those distractions, I can do 'unpleasant' tasks much more easily.

A second thing to consider is a practice called 'satisficing'. It is easy to fall into a form of perfectionism where your default questions sound like: 'am I doing the absolute best thing I could be?', 'Is this the absolute best book on the topic?' etc. Satisficing on the other hand is a practice of choosing things that are not perfect, but definitely good enough as it crosses a sort of 'acceptability threshold'. The advantage is that it requires much less mental stress/anxiety over finding the single best in things. So perhaps X is not the absolute best use of your time/book on the subject, but it definitely nonetheless is definitely a really good use of your time, and a really great book on the topic respectively.

Hope this helps.
 
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Black_Dragon43

Black_Dragon43

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I don't think your problem will be fixed by trying to learn to enjoy the process. I think your time would be better spent doing what you enjoy, and are good at (bringing in the clients) and then delegating the rest to others.

Whether those others are sub contractors or people you employ directly will depend on you but it seems the next logical step in the process of growing a business. And although there will be some bumps along the way building the business up to multiple employees might very well light your fire again.
I agree this is definitely an important area for me to focus on. I have already been subcontracting work, but I've been very greedy here too. I only subcontract if I can make at least 3x the amount I subcontract for. One time, for example, I subcontracted an entire project for $200 and made $2500 from it. This is a bit of a hit and miss approach - sometimes it works, sometimes it ends up being a big hassle. It's all about how well you select the subcontractor, and how much time you invest in management and guidance. Because I have been subcontracting at these very large price differences, it's been very difficult to find RELIABLE subcontractors who don't require much management or feedback from me along the way. For the future, one of the key points I will focus on this year is building a network of reliable subcontractors, even if I pay them much more than in the past. I realise that paying for value is worth it - you avoid the hassle that is part of the process if you are greedy.

I was thinking exactly what Razor said. Basically is it possible to get an employee for $500-1000 a month and give him all the tasks you don't enjoy? I grew up in Central Europe and I remember labor there was dead cheap, Costs of taxes, insurance, and bureaucracy were horrible, but companies with multiple employees done very well usually because they paid them little for a lot of hard work. Which is exactly the opposite of Western Europe, where taxes and insurance costs are tiny but you pay your employees a lot, so if you are past initial level there you are already good, while here I found it easy to pass initial level while outsourcing work is hard and expensive.
Yes you are right, labor costs are definitely lower here. The issue with direct employment is that in my domain, the expertise that I need cannot be found in just a single person. So if I hire, I would need to hire multiple different professionals, and I don't always have projects which require all of them. That's why so far I've been leaning towards the subcontracting route - that way I'm not stuck with paying a particular professional - say a graphic designer - when none of the services I currently do involve that.

I have struggled with this type of situation in the past as well. As already mentioned, meditation is a great long term option for gaining control of your thoughts. One session will not change your life, but building that habit will definitely make things easier.

I haven't gotten to the point where I can hire anyone to take over the parts of business that I don't like (still in startup mode), but that sounds like it may be a great option. Getting into a situation that causes you and your business to slow or struggle is not a good place to be. Customers will eventually notice the decline in your efforts, even if those efforts are in the background.
Thanks to you and lejus for this suggestion! I agree, meditation is definitely something that I should look into more. Does anyone here have any stories that you'd be willing to share with regards to how meditation has helped you in your entrepreneurial journey? I'd really appreciate to hear, and I'd love to learn more about it.

Thanks to everyone else for your replies, they have all been extremely helpful to me! :)
 

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Black_Dragon43

Black_Dragon43

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I will also add that one thing that has happened to me along the way is this...

I started out being focused on providing value and helping customers without regard for money. That's how I first started scoring clients, when I had no clue about selling. Over time, as I learned the sales aspect, I saw that "value" is in the eye of the beholder, and it's much more about perceived value. So by changing the perceived value, you can change dramatically how much you earn. I feel that I'm very much a Jordan Belfort kind of salesman - I don't get a big pipeline of leads coming to my business, BUT out of the few that do, I convert most of them into clients, and some of them into long-term clients. So I'm very efficient in that way when it comes to sales.

But there is also a downside to this. Over time, I feel that providing value has become less of a focus - it's no longer centre stage. What is the centre stage is the act of selling itself. But since I'm in marketing perhaps the selling is also the value I'm offering. But keep in mind that human beings are first and foremost irrational and emotional creatures - so price isn't necessarily tied to the value offered when we rationally analyse a deal.

Of course, as some of you mentioned already, the downside of this is that when your focus is no longer mainly on providing value, but just on making more money (selling more), then you also don't feel as happy about what you're doing.
 

lejus

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Thanks to you and lejus for this suggestion! I agree, meditation is definitely something that I should look into more. Does anyone here have any stories that you'd be willing to share with regards to how meditation has helped you in your entrepreneurial journey? I'd really appreciate to hear, and I'd love to learn more about it.
You can check Tim Ferries Tools of Titans it is gathering of his most popular interviews with entrepreneurs, as he said almost all of them have some kind of meditation technique they use. If you check Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorain Yates, Joe Rogan, oprah winfrey, Steve Jobs and many others they all used it. It is like exercise, if you go do one workout will you get benefits? Unlikely, you will most likely get sore the next day, maybe a bit of mood boost and that's it. But if you make it your habit benefits are great. For me it certainly helped with focus, insomnia, stress, calmness, happiness, decision making and inner peace. Those are benefit which don't just affect your business, they affect your whole life, and that's great. But it is like workout for your mind, some people get good mental health benefits doing a little bit some people turn it into lifestyle.
 

HackVenture

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Find a partner who could handle the parts you dislike?

Similar to subcontracting but different, because if you find a detail-oriented partner (one-time) who loves the doing part of the business you don't really have to worry about fulfillment again and yes you will give away a percentage but the dollar amount you would be getting deals that you love should more than make up for it, plus you should be loving your work again.
 

NMdad

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Agree with what others said about delegating.

The key in delegating is first to create systems for the things you do--whether it's setting up ad campaigns, copywriting, creating a strategy for a client, etc. YOU know how to do each of those things, but it sounds like you might not (yet) have systems & processes so your SUBCONTRACTORS/EMPLOYEES can do each of those things without your involvement.

Pick 1 thing at a time, break it down into pieces/steps (how do YOU do it?), document it, then hand it off to someone else to do. See how they do with it. Adjust your documentation/process. Try it again & keep iterating until you've built a little machine that outputs the result you want. Act, assess, adjust.

Then repeat for each thing you want to delegate.

You'll eventually have a business that still delivers the actual work, but doesn't require YOU do be the one doing it.

You don't have to do it all--you just need to make sure it gets done.

You're the conductor, not the violinist.
 

NMdad

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Also, I've found that creating these systems so OTHERS can do what I do--and seeing these systems create the results I want--is really gratifying. Like these little systems are little machines that churn out the things I need so I can do other stuff.
 

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